Bro. Chester Wright in his book on Shame defines spiritual pain like this:
THE EMOTIONS OF SHAME – Sometimes people have so buried the source of their shame
that they live in denial that they have any shame at all. However, the evidences of shame are irrefutable.
Shame has many distinct, symptomatic emotions which the person with shame cannot bury. When a preponderance of these emotions are resident in an individual, it is sufficient proof that shame exists in their being even if they deny that they have any shame at all.
Those who would minister to those with shame will occasionally encounter those who will vehemently
deny that they have shame. Using this list of emotions is one of the only ways to begin to persuade someone to consider their situation and to allow themselves to be helped.
While all of us, in normal life, have or will have some of these emotions on occasion. Those without
shame work their way through them relatively quickly. However, those with shame find themselves experiencing many of these emotions repeatedly. Those with the most debilitating shame will find that some of these emotions are almost always present with them as a matter of daily life.
It would be a very rare thing to find someone with ALL of the listed emotions. In fact, some people with shame will have what appears to be the extreme opposite of some of the itemized emotions (as discussed in the previous section — VII. ―The Life-Style of Shame: a Life of Extremes‖). However, those emotions which are revealed when we least expect them to be will be directly related to the cause of the shame that they do have.
Some of the below listed emotions will seem like synonyms of the same condition, but in reality they are different for different people.
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER WHEN DEALING WITH THE EMOTIONS OF PEOPLE WITH SHAME IS: FEELINGS DO NOT HAVE TO BE TRUE TO BE REAL. THIS
POINT MUST BE MADE TO THOSE WHO HAVE COME TO THE PLACE OF BELIEVING THAT EVERYTHING THAT THEY FEEL IS TRUE BECAUSE THEY FEEL IT. AS LONG AS THEY BELIEVE THAT THEY
WILL NEVER BE FREE! FEELINGS AND FACTS ARE NOT SYNONYMOUS. FEELING SOMETHING
DOES NOT PROVE THAT IT IS TRUE!
WHILE THIS IS NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST, MANY OF THE EMOTIONS OF SHAME ARE (these emotions are not listed in any particular order):
C. EMBARRASSMENT or the EXTREME FEAR OF EMBARRASSMENT
E. HOPELESSNESS — ―there’s no need to try anymore‖
H. FEELINGS OF BEING FLAWED, DAMAGED, ETC.
I. DISAPPOINTMENT and/or EXTREME GRIEF OVER LOSS: OPPORTUNITIES, DREAMS,
HOPES, PLANS, LOVED ONES, ETC. This is frequently accompanied by an ―OBSESSION
WITH WHAT WE HAVE LOST‖
J. REGRET usually with DEEP SORROW which can find no relief
K. ALIENATION or ABANDONMENT
L. FEELING UNCLEAN, DIRTY, SOILED
M. ABIDING ANGER usually with a QUICK TEMPER; the extreme is RAGE. This can also be
manifested as a desire to ―hurt someone‖ or ―make them pay‖ even though our conscious minds
cannot always put a face or a name on whom we want to hurt.
N. UNEXPLAINABLE FEAR or TERROR
O. FEAR OF FAILURE and/or FEAR OF REJECTION
P. SHYNESS OR TIMIDITY TO THE EXTREME; FEAR OF MEETING PEOPLE
Q. FEELING CONFUSED or CONFOUNDED, PERPLEXED
R. FEAR OF MAKING DECISIONS even to the point of paralysis in daily life.
S. Tendencies toward habitual PROCRASTINATION as a life-style.
T. FOR THE ―SAVED,‖ THE ABSENCE OF THE SENSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, PEACE, OR
JOY BEING PRESENT IN THEIR DAILY LIVES
U. UNWILLINGNESS OR THE INABILITY TO TRUST ANYONE (including oneself)
V. FEELING UNLOVABLE or UNWANTED or LIKE AN ―OUTSIDER‖ MOST ALL OF THE TIME
W. FEELINGS OF UNWORTHINESS, NEVER GOOD ENOUGH (this is not humility)
X. FEELINGS OF WORTHLESSNESS, USELESSNESS, ETC.
Y. FEELING LIKE “I JUST CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT”
Z. FEELINGS OF SELF-BLAME
AA. FEELINGS OF SELF-HATRED
BB. FEELINGS THAT WHEN THINGS GO WRONG, ―I GOT WHAT I DESERVED.‖
CC. DESIRE TO PUNISH or DO HARM TO SELF
DD. SUICIDAL FEELINGS